GRINNELL, IA—Grinnell College recognized the professional accomplishments and service contributions of nine alumni during Alumni Reunion Weekend, June 2-6 on the Grinnell campus. Alumni Award winners are members of reunion classes who have distinguished themselves in their careers and communities and embody Grinnell’s mission of life-long learning and service.
Grace Edmonson Harris, a 1954 graduate of Grinnell College from Richmond, Va., received an Alumni Award. Following is the citation read about Harris’s accomplishments: “Grace Edmonson Harris has flourished at top national institutions throughout her life, even as others tried to thwart her progress. Harris spent a semester at Grinnell College in 1952 as an exchange student from Hampton Institute, a historically black college in Virginia. She was involved in a program designed to promote interracial understanding at both schools. She went on to graduate from Hampton Institute.
Though she was initially denied admission to graduate school because of her race, she eventually earned a master’s degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and a doctorate degree in sociology from the University of Virginia. She joined VCU as a professor at the graduate school in 1967, ultimately earning the title of provost and vice president of academic affairs. In 2007, the university dedicated a building in her honor.
For her commitment to achieve at the highest levels—and her work to ensure that others can do the same—Grinnell is pleased to honor Grace Edmonson Harris.”
Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.